CRS Report – Types of Committee Hearings

Every CRS Report – Types of Committee Hearings, November 15, 2018 “Congressional committee hearings may be broadly classified into four types: legislative, oversight, investigative, and confirmation. Hearings may be held on Capitol Hill or elsewhere (e.g., a committee member’s district or state, or a site related to the subject of the hearing). These latter hearings are often referred to as field hearings. All hearings have a similar formal purpose: to gather information for use by the committee in its activities. This information is often used to shape legislation, even when the hearing is not specifically a legislative hearing. All four types of hearings share common characteristics. The differences among them may appear indistinct, and their purposes sometimes overlap. For example, investigative hearings are sometimes seen as a type of oversight or may lead to legislation, and legislative hearings on a bill might also provide oversight opportunities. A…

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